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BROWN DAILY HERALD vol. cxlix, no. 10

since 1891


U. joins aid compact for N.Y. students

NECAP test results show mixed success

2013 exam scores come after release of proposed 2015 budget calling for higher education spending

Say Yes Higher Education Compact assists with college costs for lowincome families






The General Assembly is considering a bill to require the labeling of genetically modified products throughout the state. In U.S. supermarkets, more than two-thirds of food items contain genetically modified ingredients.

R.I. enters national GMO debate Bill requires labeling of GMO products, but opponents argue modified foods pose minimal risk By KERRI COLFER CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Rep. Dennis Canario, D-Portsmouth, Little Compton, Tiverton, has introduced a bill that would require food containing genetically modified ingredients to be labeled “Produced with Genetic Engineering,” according to a General Assembly press release. The bill was heard Wednesday by the House Committee on Health, Education and Welfare.


Genetically modified ingredients can be found in approximately 70 percent of food products sold in supermarkets nationwide, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. “A genetically engineered food is a plant or meat product that has had its DNA artificially altered in a laboratory by genes from other plants, animals, viruses or bacteria,” according to the press release. Connecticut and Maine are the only states to have passed similar legislation, though these bills contain provisions that prevent them from taking effect until neighboring states also adopt labeling laws, according to a press release from the Center for Food Safety. Thirty other states are also currently debating labeling legislation,

Canario said. “This is a right-to-know issue,” Canario said. “Most people don’t know about genetically modified organisms, and if the package is clearly marked that it contains GMOs, people can make decisions on whether or not to consume it.” Companies should be required to post labels with information about GMOs, just as they have been required to label foods’ nutritional facts, said Gretchen Gerlach ’14, an environmental studies concentrator. “When they first started labeling food as organic, a lot of people didn’t know what it meant, but as it was in the media, people definitely learned about it,” Gerlach said. The bill’s opponents have » See GMO, page 7

The University agreed in December to join the Say Yes Higher Education Compact, an initiative that offers to provide up to 100 percent of college tuition costs to eligible low-income high school students. The compact ensures that students with a family income at or below $75,000 living in the greater Buffalo and Syracuse, N.Y., areas are eligible for the program’s benefits at participating universities, according to the Say Yes website. Say Yes to Education — a national nonprofit group — began the program in 2008 with high schools in the Syracuse area and has since expanded to include high schools in Buffalo. The University signed the compact at the same time as 10 other institutions, including Yale, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Williams College. Brown and Yale were the last two Ivy League universities to sign the compact — the other six institutions had done so by September. » See TUITION, page 2

Corsets lace together in social commentary Play explores struggle of black women and other minorities in America at turn of 20th century By EMILY WOOLDRIDGE SENIOR STAFF WRITER

When Esther Mills, a 35-year-old black woman living in New York City at the turn of the 20th century, admits to a client from Fifth Avenue, “I’ve only been to the theater once,” the audience members are made all too aware of their own privileged position. Viewers’ suit buttons and diamond necklaces glare in the dim theater light. The women in the audience who, prior to showtime, lamented the lack of coat racks realize their complaints mirror those of Esther’s high-society clients.


Now playing at Trinity Repertory Company, “Intimate Apparel,” directed by Janice Duclos and written by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lynn Nottage ’86, brings to life the struggle of women and minorities searching for the American Dream before women’s suffrage and the civil rights movement. Esther, played by Mia Ellis MFA’12, creates corsets for New York’s most tantalizing personalities without ever feeling the satin and beads against her own skin. Instead, Esther keeps her dreams sewn inside a quilt — she holes away money, saving up in hope of opening a beauty shop. She cannot read the letters she receives from a stranger working on the Panama Canal without her clients’ help. In a particularly striking scene, this stranger — George, played by Joe Wilson, Jr. — writes Esther in a letter, » See CORSETS, page 4



When life is in pieces, Esther Mills, played by Mia Ellis MFA’12, turns to her sewing machine in Trinity Repertory Company’s “Intimate Apparel.”


Lorne Adrain launches his Democratic mayoral campaign at Providence’s Friendship Cafe

Plastic Waste Reduction Act reintroduced in General Assembly

Men’s and women’s squash drop two Ivy games each to stay winless in conference

Men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams both set pool records en route to close losses






About two weeks after Gov. Lincoln Chafee ’75 P’14 P’17 highlighted education as a major priority in his proposed 2015 budget, Commissioner of Education Deborah Gist announced the results of the 2013 New England Common Assessment Program exam in her annual State of Education address Jan. 30. Though 73 percent of high school seniors passed the test, almost twothirds of 11th graders did not meet the state’s math proficiency requirements, signaling mixed results for the state’s efforts to improve standardized test scores. Chafee’s and Gist’s announcements will affect students at all levels of the public education system through measures such as implementing the NECAP graduation requirements, increasing funding and forming new school board councils. Chafee’s budget calls for a fourth consecutive year of complete funding for the state’s education funding formula and a second consecutive year of a tuition freeze for all public colleges and universities. Chafee recommended an expansion of the Rhode Island Board of Education with the creation of two separate councils, which will focus on K-12 education and post-secondary education, respectively. The proposed budget allots $816 million for education spending, a $38 million increase from the 2014 budget. Education takes up 28 percent of state spending, second only to expenditures on health and human services. Chafee’s budget proposal came just weeks before the release of the 2013 NECAP scores, a long-anticipated announcement due to Rhode Island’s decision to include proficiency on the assessment as a graduation requirement for high school students beginning with the class of 2014. Including the students who successfully retook the exam this fall, 73 percent of 12th graders scored well enough on their NECAP exams to graduate, Gist said in her address. While the 2013 NECAP results showed an improvement in test scores for 11th graders in both mathematics » See NECAP, page 7

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2 university news » SAY YES, from page 1 “Say Yes to Education is really grateful to have Brown University as a partner and to have the University as an option for our students,” said Jacques Steinberg, the group’s senior vice president for higher education and communications. Conversations between Say Yes and the University began last fall and were straightforward from the outset, Steinberg said. “I found the University nothing but receptive.” Partnering with Say Yes was a natural choice for the University, said James Tilton, dean of financial aid. The program “broadens awareness and informs students earlier of the possibilities of where they can attend,” Tilton said. “Our programs fit very well for the goals of Say Yes.” Currently, the University expects no financial contribution from students with family incomes below $60,000. Say Yes expands the number

of applicants who will view Brown as a viable financial choice, Tilton said. Dean of Admission Jim Miller ’73 “worked directly with the Say Yes organization in making the decision” to join the compact, Tilton wrote in an email to The Herald. Miller could not be reached for comment as of press time. Since Steinberg joined Say Yes in February 2013, more than 25 higher education institutions have joined the compact, he said. The program has expanded from nearly 40 participating colleges and universities last spring to more than 60 now, according to the group’s website. Say Yes plans to expand the number of institutions involved in the compact and eventually bring the program’s benefits to high schools in cities beyond Buffalo and Syracuse, Steinberg said. “Low-income students tend to go to less competitive colleges (and) colleges closer to home,” said Lucie

Lapovsky, principal for Lapovsky Consulting and former president of Mercy College, a multi-campus institution in New York. “Programs like (Say Yes) will encourage a greater chance of these students going to college, and will encourage them to go to schools at their ability level.” About 56 percent of students whose family income is $50,000 or below attend college straight out of high school, said Lapovsky, who has studied higher education financing issues. The number is about 82 percent for students who have a family income of $100,000 or above, she added. “I think it is really important to ask what more we can be doing to expand and strengthen” the University’s financial aid policies, said Alex Mechanick ’15, president of Brown for Financial Aid. “Obviously we are in the position to meet the qualifications for being a part of this program. The question is, are we doing as much as we can be doing?”


Late course addition process moves online With end of shopping period, students now only need instructor override to add classes on Banner By GABRIELLE DEE SENIOR STAFF WRITER

After the initial period for course registration closes today, the Office of the Registrar will manage the late addition of classes entirely on Banner for the first time, following guidelines the office announced in a community-wide email Jan. 17. The new system requires that students enter an instructor override code to add courses online after shopping period. The late registration policy will be in effect between 5 p.m. today and 5 p.m. Feb. 19, which is also the deadline for students to change grading options. The $15 late fee per added class, which has been enforced since 1970, will automatically be deducted from the student’s account, said University Registrar Robert Fitzgerald. The new policy was devised mainly for convenience, allowing students to add courses online “rather than fill out a course change form and physically walk over to the Office of the Registrar in J. Walter Wilson,” according to the email. In preparation for the change, the registrar’s office revised Banner to make it easier for professors to give out overrides, Fitzgerald said. The new system has also been “tested thoroughly” to ensure that students will not be charged for switching sections, he added. The registrar’s office receives an

average of about 500 course additions in the third and fourth weeks of the semester each term, Fitzgerald said. Though the new online format could allow students to add courses more easily later in the semester, Fitzgerald said he does not expect the number to increase due to the new policy. “The University isn’t doing this to make money,” he added. Because students still need approval from faculty members to join classes after shopping period, the policy revision alters only the mechanism for adding courses, rather than the act of getting permission itself, Fitzgerald said. “It’s still the faculty being the gatekeeper to the course.” Some students said they had little opinion on the policy change, adding that they have not found the need to add classes after shopping period in past semesters. Grant Drzyzga ’14 said he would be unaffected by the change, but that the new policy would benefit students, because “coordination and movement is always better online.” Allowing students to add courses online may make some with a lighter course load more inclined to tack on an extra class after shopping period, he added. Elizabeth Arriaga ’16 said the new policy is “efficient in terms of time,” and students would be “less reluctant to add a class after shopping period.” Stephanie Song ’16 said though she has never found the need to add a class later in the semester and the new policy would not make her more likely do so, an online format would make registrations more convenient. “If you’re switching in weeks three or four, you’re probably pretty desperate,” she said.

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university news 3


New GSC president aims to represent diverse perspectives Steve Zins GS assumes council helm after running unopposed in recent election By EMILY WOOLDRIDGE SENIOR STAFF WRITER

Steve Zins’ father may have been a Brown football star, but he prefers to play football international style. “I went to soccer camp (at Brown) when I was a little kid,” Zins said. Though he grew up in the rafters of Brown hockey and football games, Zins is now taking center stage as the Graduate Student Council’s newest president. His decades-long connection with Brown has helped him appreciate the energy present on campus and prepared him to lead an organization that is ripe for change, he said. “When all the students are around, it’s a pretty special place,” Zins said.


Accidental president The GSC presidential race did not feature Weiner-esque sexting scandals but did have its own unique plot twists. There were initially no students running for the top office, and Zins had declared his candidacy for vice president, The Herald previously reported. And Zins had never before held a position on GSC, the graduate students’ forum for discussion and departmental interaction. “I thought it would be prudent for me to get my feet wet,” he said. When GSC members suggested he run for the presidency, Zins took a chance and decided to “respond to the presidential call,” he said. Zins’ experience with campus governance was limited to his undergraduate fraternity, where he served as president — a position that “had its own sets of challenges and craziness,” he said. There are “a lot of different personalities and opinions” in a fraternity, Zins said, adding that he learned the importance of leading fairly and advocating for minority groups. Zins’ people skills will help him navigate GSC’s assortment of personalities and recognize the various strengths present on the board, he said. The GSC’s executive board this semester features a variety of perspectives across different disciplines, Zins said. Zins is a fourth-year pathobiology PhD candidate, while GSC vice president Lakshmi Padmanabhan is a modern culture & media PhD candidate who is also pursuing a masters in history through Brown’s Open Graduate Program. GSC treasurer Alex Jones studies anthropology, while GSC secretary Michael Murphy is in the sociology department. Reading outside his discipline has also set the tone for Zins’ presidency. “I just read ‘Mediations’ by Marcus Aurelius,” he said. “I thought it was fascinating to read someone’s views on leadership from a long, long time ago and realize how many of those points are still relevant.” Zins won’t be rocking Roman gladiator garb anytime soon, but Aurelius’ book has taught him that “you can’t be a good leader if you don’t recognize the value in everyone you lead,” Zins said.

Agenda-Setting Zins and the GSC executive board have outlined three broad goals for the semester, encompassing many smaller objectives. Their first priority is to continue the dialogue with President Christina Paxson about her strategic plan and its implications for the graduate student community. Zins, a Pawtucket native, understands “how Brown fits into Rhode Island,” he said, adding that this perspective will be helpful as the University expands graduate student services into the Jewelry District. Representing graduate students from all backgrounds is another GSC priority this semester. Zins said he hopes “to advocate for those groups who don’t have as large of a voice,” such as international students and those with children. Orientation materials and FAQs catered toward international students’ needs will help these students adjust to American life, Zins said. The GSC also wants to host smaller social events without alcohol that may appeal to students with families, he added. The GSC’s third goal for the semester is to increase visibility for the graduate school both around the country and internationally. “The graduate school already does a great job of highlighting student research and student profiles, and we just want to increase that,” Zins said. The GSC has unveiled a new website and publicized their organization in orientation packets to encourage more graduate students to participate, Zins said. Building a team Zins said he hopes to strengthen relationships with the Rhode Island School of Design, Brown undergraduates and medical school students. Zins already plans to attend the first medical school senate meeting Wednesday, while the medical school senate


Steve Zins GS takes on his new role as the Graduate Student Council president with plans to reach out to administrators, undergraduates and medical students to build a broader sense of community. president will, in return, attend the GSC’s meeting the next day. The GSC hopes to increase crossover between undergraduate and graduate student life. Because he has played intramural soccer and basketball for four

years at Brown, he feels “there aren’t any divisions between grads and undergrads.” Nearing age 30, Zins stands out when he plays sports with undergrads, but he can still keep up with the average freshman and enjoys developing

friendships across the age divide. Though he came to the post in an uncoventional way, Zins is now embracing his presidential role and will man the helm of the GSC for the next two semesters.

4 arts & culture



Brenda Marie Osbey: ‘At the root of the human tongue’

Visiting professor Brenda Marie Osbey operates at the intersection between poetry and history By EMMAJEAN HOLLEY SENIOR STAFF WRITER

Brenda Marie Osbey, distinguished visiting professor of Africana studies, has penned multiple volumes of poetry and prose, including “History and Other Poems” and “All Saints: New and Selected Poems.” In addition to receiving numerous awards and honors, Osbey was selected as poet laureate of Louisiana in 2005. Her work explores the cultural forces that shaped precolonial and colonial history in the Americas, especially in her native city of New Orleans. Osbey spoke with The Herald about the importance of confronting history and poetry’s power to illuminate the voices of the past. Herald: You grew up in New Orleans, a city with a history of deep cultural pride and resilience, and I was wondering how this might have informed the vibrancy and sense of identity in your own works. Osbey: Well, my family actually goes back to slavery and freedom here. We’ve been here since 1719, so this is the deepest history that I know. It’s everything I know, everything I have, and it’s the root of all things for me. Herald: I’m sure you’re well aware that Brown’s founders and early benefactors were very much

» CORSETS, from page 1 “I cannot remember the smile of the water boy who died.” The sequence demonstrates the dehumanizing nature of work on the canal. But when he reaches New York at last, the transition is not as easy as expected. The streets feel more threatening than the jungle; he doesn’t have the right suit or hat to be offered a job. Unlike a Shakespearean comedy, where the marriage ends all, Esther’s marriage to George comes at the end of Act 1 and serves to catalyze the rest of the play. What initially appears as a merely awkward relationship turns sour as problems of gambling, drinking and infidelity emerge. “A suit tells more about a man’s character,” warns Esther’s landlady, Mrs. Dickson, about her relationship with George. “Any man can talk with tonic.” Mrs. Dickson, a regal lady played by Trinity Rep veteran Barbara Meek, seems very much of the period while retaining a remarkably contemporary resonance. Esther has limited freedom, but her profession allows her to cross social boundaries freely, interacting with both the lower and the upper classes. She visits women in their most intimate environments in the course of her duties as seamstress. Esther finds one of her clients, Mrs. Van Buren, played by Angela Brazil, alone and without comfort in a fancy Fifth Avenue apartment — her

entwined with the slave trade. Conversely, Rhode Island prides itself on its history of religious freedom. How do you approach this unsettling contradiction, including its present-day implications?

Osbey: It isn’t that different from the rest of this nation’s history with slavery. The primary difference seems to be that in recent years at least, Brown has taken a very strong interest in the history of the slave trade in Rhode Island. That, I think, is somewhat unique. Other institutions have begun to do that, but it seems to me that Brown was among the first to look at the history of its own institution in the making and framing of slavery and the American slave trade. Brown has a network of libraries that is absolutely fantastic. If you don’t avail yourself of the library resources that Brown University has, you’re doing yourself a great disservice. And in fact, if you’re particularly interested in poetry, Brown has one of the best poetry collections in the nation. I first used Brown’s American poetry collection back in the 1980s. Herald: Your poems create a sort of running dialogue with the past by using snippets of voices and songs, which seem to traverse the gaps of time and space that often alienate history from modernity. Do you feel your readers need to already know the historical background of your poetry to fully appreciate it? Osbey: I don’t know that you need that background, but frankly, we’re living in a society where there is not so great an appreciation of history. For

husband spat on her when she began to menstruate, because she is unable to produce a child. On the other side of the city, Esther finds a nightclub performer named Mayme, played by Shelley Fort, in her bathrobe, pounding on piano keys. She wants a corset like Mrs. Van Buren’s — and another bottle of gin. Her life is full of drunken nights and strangers who pay but don’t offer soft touches, not a bad life “for a colored girl,” she says. Esther makes both women corsets of identical design, but each reacts differently. The corset makes Mrs. Van Buren feel exposed, the ridiculous beads dangling in desperation, but Mayme is enchanted by the frills. Hitching up her long skirt playfully, she says “it feels like Fifth Avenue.” While black female identity takes center stage in “Intimate Apparel,” Nottage’s work also explores the difficulties confronting other cultural identities at the turn of the century, often through their clothing. Mr. Marks, an Orthodox Jewish fabric trader played by Mauro Hantman, emphasizes the family history of the black jacket he wears, which was passed down from his father and reminds him of his faith. His fingers stroke the exotic fabrics he persuades Esther to buy, but he cannot be touched by a woman that is not his mother, wife or sister. “Intimate Apparel” not only serves as an interpretation of history, but also bears witness to an era of social upheaval intimately connected

instance, the extent to which people in my grandparents’ generation knew and understood history — we don’t have that kind of broad, general, overreaching public concept of history anymore. But that’s why every poem in my book “All Saints,” except for the first one, has a glossary. The glossary includes not just terminology, but historical information — dates, times, places — in addition to perhaps obscure allusions to strange myths, to literature, to geography and so forth. I think that people who read poetry on a regular basis have a particular kind of sense of language to begin with. People who don’t traditionally read poetry frequently bring to it a fresher, cleaner perspective. At the beginning of classes, I always ask where my history and political science majors are. Because they understand work in the context of time and history and social development, those students are very good at keeping everybody else grounded. English majors, literary arts majors, people who are interested in literary criticism and so forth, frequently ignore those shaping forces, the forces of time and social movements. They jump straight into language with a certain sense that each work is a discrete item in and of itself — which is true, of course, but it’s also true that each work is related to other works and each author is related to other authors and no one’s really right in seclusion and total solitude. Herald: I agree that a lot of people can be intimidated by history. One example that immediately comes to mind is the summer reading for the class of 2016, which was

a history book by Charles Rappleye.

Osbey: Oh, “Sons of Providence”? Herald: Yes. And apparently almost no one read the whole thing. It was dry. But one thing about your poetry is that it is heavily researched, but it also has a sense of humanity and an almost Wordsworthian emotional urgency. The factual element is obviously important for context, but what role do you feel the intensity of poetry plays in molding research into something that feels more real than, say, “Sons of Providence”? Osbey: That’s a very big one for me. I count myself among a number of poets in the African-American narrative tradition that looks at history and posits itself — that is, the work — as having what I like to call a “problem with history.” This history is the thing that drives the work that I do and any poem for me usually begins with a kind of problem with history. But I think that just as we often think that history is dry, cold, hard facts that are unrelated to us, we often have a tendency to think that poetry is meaningless language that has nothing to do with real life. The work that I’m doing, and the work that many Africana poets are doing, is at that juncture of lived experience. And so sometimes when I’m researching and going through these original archival documents, the documents themselves have a kind of power of language in their own right. In the poetry of the late, great Robert Hayden, for instance, in the famous poem “Middle Passage” — it’s

because of that poem, by the way, that we use the term “middle passage” to mean all the things we use it to mean. It referred to a specific point in the transatlantic slave trade. It was a geographical and navigational and maritime term and nothing more. We use it now to mean all of the experiences of those captured Africans because of Robert Hayden’s poem “Middle Passage.” In that poem, what Robert Hayden does is he quotes the ship’s log of actual slave ships. So in that poem, we never hear the voices of the captured Africans. We only hear the voices of the white ship’s crew, the captains, the slavers. And when we hear the quoted passages from the ship’s log, from the captain’s diary, the rhetoric, the court testimonies in the Amistad case, for instance — what he does in that poem is he allows the slavers and traders and dealers to condemn themselves in their own words, in their own language. And all of the passages he uses are in fact from the historical documents themselves. For lack of a better term, we like to talk about the magic of language, and I think it helps to create a certain kind of rhythm, a certain kind of harmony. One of the issues that’s important to keep in mind about poetry is that there must always be that musicality, and one of the best ways I think to achieve that is to look at the harmonics of poetry, not to focus simply on the lyricism. The long narrative poem allows the poet to address the harmonics of poetry and of language — all of that juicy stuff at the root of the human tongue. This interview has been edited for clarity and length.


Esther Mills, played by Mia Ellis MFA’12, tightens the laces of a corset worn by wealthy Mrs. Van Buren, played by Angela Brazil, in “Intimate Apparel.” to its author, making the viewer all the more invested. Nottage based Esther’s character on the experiences of her great-grandmother, a Barbadian seamstress who immigrated to New York City and corresponded with a laborer working on the Panama Canal,

according to the program. Each act closes with a still scene on stage that mirrors the historical black-andwhite photographs projected onto screens in the theater. “Intimate Apparel” does not have a tightly knit conclusion. Some

relationships and events do not receive closure. Esther’s quilt lies in pieces by the end of the play, but her sewing machine remains. “Intimate Apparel” runs Jan. 30 to March 2 in the Sarah and Joseph Dowling, Jr. Theater downtown.


arts & culture 5

Students take professional turn in gallery exhibition Community artists judge works from undergrads and graduate students in annual art show By MEGHAN FRIEDMANN CONTRIBUTING WRITER


Rory Macfarlane ‘15 received first place in the Student Exhibition for her sculpture, above. The sculpture’s rocks dangled above a table of hors d’oeuvres at the reception.


The Student Exhibition at the David Winton Bell Gallery celebrated its 34th year in an exhibition that closed Sunday.

Cucumber water, dreamy music and a host of students’ artwork greeted a lively crowd in List Art Center Saturday night at a reception to celebrate the Student Exhibition at the David Winton Bell Gallery. The exhibition at the gallery, a space normally reserved for professional artists, opened Jan. 21 and closed Feb. 2. Todd Stong ’14 and Anna Muselmann ’14, department undergraduate leaders for the Department of Visual Art, planned the show and were responsible for informing students of the opportunity to submit pieces, gathering the artwork and choosing the jurors, Muselmann said. The exhibition, which is in its 34th year, has always been student-run, she added. Planning for the show started in the beginning of the fall semester with an extensive meeting with Assistant Professor of Visual Art Leigh Tarentino and the gallery’s staff, Stong said. The show’s jurors — who were chosen by the DUG leaders — were responsible for selecting which pieces were admitted and which received awards, Muselmann said. The jurors gave out first, second and third place prizes, honorable mentions and two Juror’s Choice awards, she added. This year’s jurors were Susan Lichtman ’78, a well-known painter in the Providence community, and sculptor Kelli Rae Adams, a ceramics instructor at the Rhode Island School of Design who has previously displayed her work at the Bell Gallery. Each student was allowed to submit two pieces, Muselmann said. The admissions process was blind, she said. This policy allowed the show’s coordinators to submit pieces. A total of 89 pieces were submitted by 53 artists, Muselmann wrote in an email to The Herald. Of these, 57 pieces from 45 artists were accepted into the show, she wrote. Lichtman said she was looking for a student’s “strong personal voice” and “fairly fluent feeling for

the language of the medium” when selecting pieces for the show. When assigning the awards, the jurors picked pieces that showed the most “ambition,” Lichtman said, adding that some pieces “took a huge amount of effort.” “I was very excited to see these very large paintings that were quite beautiful and very various in their style,” Lichtman said. “There’s really no one way that Brown students paint.” Lichtman praised the exhibition’s sculptures, adding that sculptors have to make a lot of decisions, not only about which materials to use but also about how to set up their pieces. Above the table of hors d’oeuvres at the reception dangled a rectangular congifuration of rocks hanging from transparent threads — a sculpture composed by Rory Macfarlane ’15 that won the competition’s first prize. “What I really enjoy about that piece is watching people interact with it, whether or not people decide that it’s safe to walk underneath it,” Muselmann said of the sculpture. A range of participants, including both undergraduates and graduate students across a variety of disciplines, submitted pieces, Muselmann said. Daniel Sobor ’15, who is pursuing an independent concentration that combines visual arts with neuroscience, had pieces in the show. He said his work revolves around the theme of “material obsession.” The visual arts department tends to be “tight-knit,” Sobor said. Instead of the competitive environment one might expect from a juried exhibition, the atmosphere was collaborative. Many of Brown’s “heavy-hitters” in the artistic community were represented in the exhibition, Sobor said, adding that he is excited to have his own work displayed with theirs. Muselmann said she submitted two pieces both of which were admitted into the show, including a video that won third place. Though she has had work in the show in the past, this was the first time she submitted a video project, she added. “It was exciting for me to try a different medium and to see how video would interact with the paintings and the other still artworks that were in the show,” she said.

6 metro


Adrain Bill seeks to ban plastic bag dispersal statewide faces skepticism launches Legislation from businesses that say ban would add costs for mayoral consumers campaign By EMMA HARRIS


Adrain begins campaign as Democratic mayoral candidate at charitable restaurant By KATHERINE LAMB METRO EDITOR

Lorne Adrain, former chairman of the Rhode Island Board of Governors for Higher Education and managing director at the wealth management firm Ballentine Partners, formally launched his mayoral campaign yesterday morning at the Friendship Cafe in South Providence. Adrain became the fifth Democratic hopeful vying to become the 38th mayor of Providence, along with City Council President Michael Solomon; Brett Smiley, a former chairman of the Providence Water Supply Board; Jorge Elorza, a former Housing Court judge and Chris Young, a perennial candidate for public offices across the state. The winner of the Democratic primary in September will face Republican Daniel Harrop ’76 MD’79 in the general election Nov. 4. “We’ve been at this for several months, testing support in the community and around the country for my candidacy,” Adrain told The Herald. “We’ve gotten a very strong, positive response. We’ve developed plans to make positive change in the community, and we’re jumping in with both feet.” In his remarks, Adrain said he chose to begin his campaign at the Friendship Cafe — a mission-driven restaurant that donates all its proceeds to supporting Amos House, a social services agency that provides meals, shelter and support services for low-income and homeless individuals — because it exemplifies the kind of community solutions that are possible in Providence. “Providence has been a cradle of freedom and the home of many a ‘lively experiment,’” Adrain said in his speech, according to a campaign press release. Drawing on his entrepreneurial background, Adrain proposed an economic strategy that “capitalizes on the distinctive assets of the city, while promoting entrepreneurship of all kinds” through reduced business and property tax rates, according to the press release. He also proposed city-wide free Internet access — particularly in low-income neighborhoods — and the expansion of preschool and full-day kindergarten programs, according to the press release. Adrain hired Steve Gerencser, consultant to former U.S. Sen. Chris Dodd, DConn., as a campaign adviser last month. He will likely compete with Elorza for support among East Side voters, WPRI reported.

The Plastic Waste Reduction Act was reintroduced Thursday to the Rhode Island House of Representatives by Rep. Maria Cimini, D-Providence. The bill would ban the dispersal of many plastic bags in Rhode Island by January 2015 for large retailers and by January 2016 for small businesses. During the last legislative session, neither a similar plastic bag ban in the House nor its Senate twin — sponsored by Sen. Donna Nesselbush ’84, D-Pawtucket, North Providence — made it to the floor for a vote. Advocates hope support for the year-old plastic bag bans in Barrington, R.I., as well as in Seekonk, Mass., will convince legislators to pass a statewide mandate, said Aanchal Saraf ’16, who interned for Environment Rhode Island and has worked to pass the bill. The statewide ban is necessary to repair the “leaks in the system,” caused by people traveling to other towns where they can get plastic bags, Saraf said. As of now, Hawaii is the only state to ban all plastic bags, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Environment Rhode Island has been the primary organization campaigning for this legislation, with workers having knocked on “tens of thousands of doors across the state” since the summer of 2012, said spokesman Channing Jones. “In Rhode Island, we value Narragansett Bay and our marine environment very highly. We also care about the wildlife out there, and we want to leave it clean and healthy for future generations. This is a fairly simple step we can take to eliminate

a very common source of plastic trash out there,” he added. Environment Rhode Island also created fact sheets for state legislators to inform them of the “basic benefits” behind the pressed legislation, Saraf said. They are now tracking the bill online as it moves through the House, she said. Many small retailers have already switched to paper bags, because the swap saves money, attracts free advertising or owners feel it is “the right thing to do,” Jones said. “Plastic bags are on their way out,” he said, adding that “in our experience going out and talking to individual business owners, there’s a lot of support out there.” Providence is a “green conscious community,” Saraf said. While small businesses may see paper bags as beneficial, the transition might pose a problem for large businesses, she added. Companies are upset, because plastic is cheaper, Saraf said, but even biodegradable plastics can be detrimental to the environment, she said. “They’re still releasing harmful chemicals that are polluting the water, and just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it does no harm.” The bill has met opposition from organizations like the American Progressive Bag Alliance, which argues that alternatives such as increased recycling of plastic bags could offer a better solution to the environmental concerns. “American-made plastic products are the best environmental choice at checkout — for both retailers and consumers,” according to the organization’s website. Styrofoam containers are a similar environmental nuisance, Jones said. “The next step would be taking out other common types of trash in the bay,” he said. “We’re the Ocean State,” Saraf said. “You have to recognize the fact that by continuing to use plastic bags, (the marine environment) is being damaged,” she said.


Environmental Rhode Island has been lobbying for the passage of a statewide ban on plastic bag dispersal.


The legislation would make Rhode Island the second state, after Hawaii, to ban businesses from dispersing plastic bags.

Legislation introduced to protect children online Attorney General’s bill re-classifies sending of explicit online material to minors as a felony By KATYA BARRETT CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Attorney General Peter Kilmartin announced he had drafted legislation making it a felony to “electronically disseminate sexually explicit images to minors” Dec. 18, according to a General Assembly press release. The bill will likely be introduced into the General Assembly by Kilmartin’s allies. This piece of legislation is being filed for the fourth year in a row, said Amy Kempe, Kilmartin’s communications director and public information officer. “It is getting more attention now, because in previous years it was a part of larger package of legislation dealing with loopholes in internet safety laws. This year the Attorney General is taking a different approach, by proposing various stand-alone bills instead of one large packet.” This legislation already has the support of Rep. Peter Martin, D-Newport, and Sen. Frank Lombardi, DCranston, as well as the Rhode Island Police Chiefs Association, according to the release. Martin and Lombardi, who filed Kilmartin’s internet safety

legislation in previous years, will introduce the most recent version of the bill drafted by Kilmartin, Kempe said. The goal of the bill — which would amend the current felony law to apply to photos, videos and live sex acts performed on webcam — is to apply the same protections from predators online as children receive in more public realms. “Sending sexually explicit material to a child online is no different than approaching a child at a playground,” Kilmartin said in the official press release. “People who engage in this type of deviant behavior are child predators, hiding behind their computer screens, searching for victims, and they need to be treated as such.” Those who violate the proposed law could be jailed for up to five years and forced to register as sex offenders, with possible fines up to $5,000, according to the release. “Why it isn’t already a felony is a question,” Kempe said. “The hole in the law was identified several years ago when there were several cases brought to us by police departments. There is nothing on the books currently that would allow those engaging in these acts to be charged, but

they are clearly predators.” There is no definitive timeline for the bill, said Randy Szyba, the publicist for the General Assembly. The attorney general is hopeful for the bill’s chances this year, Kempe said. “By separating the pieces out of the larger package, we are hopeful that each of the individual pieces will be able to garner more attention.” Kilmartin, who lists protecting children from predators as one of his primary goals on his official webpage, said sending such materials to minors can lead to future endangerment. Sending sexually explicit images or messages to minors “is, among other things, a way for predators to ‘groom’ the children, to build a relationship that can lead to exploitation and further victimization,” Kilmartin said, according to the press release. A similar act was passed in New York in 2007. The legislature amended the penal law to make the dissemination of indecent materials to minors a class D felony, according to the website of the New York legislature. But the New York law only applies first-degree penalties when offenders recognize the content of sent material and when the sexually explicit materials are sent in solicitation of a real-life sexual encounter. The law allows prosecution before a real-life

meeting has taken place, according to the New York legislature’s website. The bill in Rhode Island does not make the same distinction. Rather, its advocates emphasize that it closes an existing loophole in child protection laws due to the Internet, Lombardi said in the press release. “We need to give law enforcement the tools they need to keep up with advances in techno-crimes and to find and prosecute the people who perpetrate them,” Martin said in the press release. “The Internet has created new opportunities for predators to victimize children, and we need the right tools to prosecute effectively,” Kilmartin said in the press release. “It is imperative that our laws are updated to reflect changing technology.” Kilmartin has shown an increased interest in Internet crimes over recent months, pitching similar legislation in December that would make it a felony to post “revenge porn,” or explicit photos of a former romantic partner without his or her consent, according to the office of the attorney general’s website. Elected Attorney General in 2010, Kilmartin will run for reelection in November 2014. Sen. Dawson Hodgson, R-East Greenwich, North Kingstown, South Kingstown, Narragansett, announced Jan. 14 he will run as a challenger.

metro 7


» NECAP, from page 1 and reading, almost two-thirds did not demonstrate proficiency in math, according to results posted on the Rhode Island Department of Education’s website. This number falls far short of 60 percent math proficiency, the state’s goal for 11th graders. Just over 80 percent of 11th graders scored at least proficient in reading. Beginning in 2015, Rhode Island will substitute the NECAP exam for the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers exam. RIDE was “really pleased” with Chafee’s recommendation, said Elliot Krieger, RIDE’s public information officer, adding that the additional funding would be directed into the most needy communities. The formula was first put into place for the 2012 fiscal year to remedy long-existing funding inequities, in which some districts were disproportionately funded based on “arbitrary” allotments, said Tim Duffy, executive director of the Rhode Island Association of School Committees. The formula accounts for changing factors like the number of students in a district and the community’s economic status, said Kenneth Wong, professor of education and one of the formula’s architects. Districts receiving more aid from the state based on demonstrated need will have their funding status reviewed every seven years, while districts receiving less aid will be evaluated every ten years, Wong said. Chafee’s recommendation for an expansion of the Board of Education from 11 members to 15 emerged from a proposal developed last month by the board itself. If the budget is approved, the board will continue to operate jointly across all levels of the state’s public education apparatus while also dividing to the two proposed special councils. The current joint board, which was put into place last year to increase communication and consistency in public education, is frequently “dominated by the issues around early and secondary education,” such as highstakes testing or school evaluations, Duffy said.

» GMO, from page 1 expressed concern that labeling costs could raise prices for consumers. The extra labeling on GMO products could “cost families $450 a year,” said Mandy Hagan, vice president of state affairs and grassroots for the Grocery Manufacturers Association. Companies would have to spend money to “go through additional verification” from a third party in order to confirm that their products do not include genetically modified ingredients, Hagan said. The bill’s advocates often express skepticism that labelling costs are at the heart of the food industry’s opposition, painting their detractors


Gov. Lincoln Chafee ’75 P’14 P’17 has proposed a 2015 budget that would increase educational spending by $38 million and freeze tuition for students at Rhode Island’s public universities. The proposed councils will meet monthly to discuss issues of governance and regulation, while the full board will likely meet quarterly to decide on longer-term policy issues, said Clark Greene, acting executive director of the Rhode Island Office of Higher Education. If the proposal is accepted by the legislature, the governor will have to appoint four new members to the board. The budget’s education section

calls for the creation of the Office of the Postsecondary Commissioner, which would work with the Council on Postsecondary Education and Rhode Island’s three public universities: the Community College of Rhode Island, the University of Rhode Island and Rhode Island College. Chafee also announced plans to freeze tuition for the three public institutions. He also pledged to invest an additional $10 million in the

system. “Governors across the country are starting to pay attention to college tuition,” Wong said, adding that tuition for both private and public institutions has been rising nationwide. The state has been unable to provide the same level of financial support as in the past, leading Rhode Island’s public institutions to raise tuition for more revenue, Duffy said. “Whether it’s sustainable in the

long run depends on the state of the economy and the next governor,” Wong said of the tuition freeze. But financial difficulties may continue to pose a problem for the state’s education agenda, Duffy said. Many of the funds tapped in the 2015 budget were designated for 2014, Duffy said, adding that this money “won’t materialize again.” “We’re balancing a budget on last year’s surplus,” he said.

as intent on keeping consumers in the dark about the use of a new and supposedly untested practice. “We believe that many companies would rather remove GMOs than admit they use them,” said Jeffrey Smith, founding executive director of the Institute for Responsible Technology. Substituting genetically modified ingredients would drive prices up due to the expense of alternative ingredients, as well as the research that would have to go into developing alternative agricultural techniques, Hagan said. “For some ingredients there are so little non-GM products available that it would be difficult to not use them.” “The labeling provides the easiest

means for the industry to participate and the consumers to receive information,” Smith said. Many consumers are concerned about GMOs’ possible long-term health effects, Smith said. “We believe GMOs are a major contributor to a variety of diseases in the United States,” he said. “If it turns out GMOs are in fact contributing to these problems and they are being fed to the entire population, it becomes a very serious issue indeed. There is evidence to make it a top priority investigation.” But many scientists say the debate over the health effects of GMOs has been settled. “The FDA and National Academy of Sciences have found

GMOs to be safe,” Hagan said. “Independent studies have not been able to find any negative effects.” “Food and food ingredients derived from GE plants must adhere to the same safety requirements under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act that apply to food and food ingredients derived from traditionally bred plants,” according an informational posting from the Food and Drug Administration. Developers of GE plants are required to submit a safety assessment to the FDA and are encouraged to voluntarily consult with the FDA before marketing their new product. “Most people are worried about human health and with GMOs, that

might be the last thing you should be worried about,” said Dawn King, visiting assistant professor of environmental studies. “There’s a huge scare that there will be a loss of biodiversity in crops.” “It’s much more than a human health issue. This is really a rightto-know legislation and honestly, I do believe there could be good and bad things from GMOs,” King said. Currently, 64 other countries have either placed bans on GMOs or have adopted similar labeling laws, Smith said. “I absolutely want labeling because I want the right to choose,” King said. “That’s about as American as you can get.”

8 sports tuesday



Both teams drop Ivy matches, women upset Stanford Men and women fall to top 10-ranked Penn and Princeton, winning just one of 36 total matches By HANNAH CAMHI SPORTS STAFF WRITER

The men’s and women’s squash teams faltered this weekend against Ivy League competition. On the women’s side, No. 4 Princeton snapped the No. 10 Bears’ six-match winning streak with a 9-0 sweep Saturday, though the team rebounded later that day to upset No. 7 Stanford University with a 5-4 victory. The women finished their weekend with a 9-0 loss to No. 3 Penn Sunday. The No. 19 men faced a similar struggle over the weekend, falling to No. 7 Princeton 9-0 and No. 10 Penn 8-1. Women’s squash (10-4, 0-4 Ivy) Princeton (6-3, 2-3), the 2013 Ivy League champion, dropped few points on its way to victory Saturday, outscoring the Bears in all 27 individual games. After the loss, Bruno went right into non-conference play against Stanford (4-6). “It was good for us, because we were warmed up to the Princeton courts,” said captain Dori Rahbar ’14, a former Herald contributing writer. “We went in prepared to fight,” said co-captain Sarah Domenick ’14. “This was the first time we have had a really good chance.” The Bears’ five wins came from positions five through nine. “We had the bottom of the ladder carrying the team. Our skills don’t drop off as we go lower down the ladder,” Rahbar said. In the eighth spot, Skylar Murphy ’16 won her match in five games after winning the first two. But Hannah HaySmith ’17 had a tough five-game match, coming back from a 2-0 deficit to fall in the fifth. “Everyone was playing pretty consistently,” Rahbar said. “We played

very solid squash.” The match score was tied at three with three matches left when Mina Shakarshy ’15 and Katherine ElliottMoskwa ’15 clinched the match for the Bears in three and four games, respectively. The captains “were proud of the team for taking the opportunity,” said Domenick, who had her first weekend of competition since being sick. “It was frustrating not being able to play (before). I was excited to help the team out this weekend.” The following day, the Bears suffered a 9-0 loss to the Quakers (8-2, 4-1). This match proved to be closer than Bruno’s other Ivy match, as Shakarshy, Isabel Scherl ’15 and Meredith SchmidtFellner ’14 tallied a single game in each of their matches against Penn. Men’s squash (4-11, 0-4) Princeton (4-6, 2-3) proved an overwhelming matchup for the men’s team, downing Bruno 9-0. “We had lots of close scores and long rallies, but they’re a bit stronger than us,” said Foster Hoff ’16. Oliver Booth ’16 and Hoff were the only players who were able to take games from the Tigers. “I played well, and I think the team played hard and well,” Hoff said. The next day the Bears dropped an 8-1 match to Penn (7-3, 3-2). “We got much more fired up before the match, and we came out more aggressively,” Hoff said. This matchup was more promising, with “all-around closer matches,” Hoff said. Co-captain Blake Reinson ’14 led the Bears with an 8-11, 11-6, 11-5, 11-6 victory from the top spot. But Hoff suffered a tough five-game loss from the fourth spot, losing 11-1 in the fifth game. Both Bruno teams return to action against Yale at the Pizzitola Sports Center today.


Tod Holberton ’14 returns a volley in a squash match. The men’s team won just one match this weekend against its Ivy League rivals.

today 9


p lo w a r e yo u ?



LUNCH Turkey Tacos, Corn Mexicane, Mediterranean Potato Salad, Roasted Spicy Curried Broccoli and Cauliflower

Vegetarian Pot Pie with Biscuits, Krinkle Cut Fries, Honey Mustard Chicken Sandwich, Whoopie Pie

DINNER Ratatouille with Cheese, Italian Beef Noodle Casserole, Steak Fries, Roasted Parsnips, Chocolate Cake

Italian Meatloaf, Rotini, Vegan Creole Red Beans, Chicken Soup with Tortellini, Washington Apple Cake









Spinach & Feta, Sausage & Lentil, and Three Bean Chili

Chicken Curry with Potatoes, Vegetables Cooked with Lentils



A snow plow operator removes snow and ice from the Main Green. Classes were not delayed yesterday despite the snow storm.


Cat Ears | Najatee McNeil


Real Stories, Real Students | Jimmy Xia

calendar TODAY



1966 Pulitzer Prize winner Jorie Graham will present the Brown community with readings from her books “Sea Change,” “Swarm,” and “The Dream of a Unified Field: Selected Poems from 1974-1994,” followed by a discussion. Sponsored by the Department of Literary Arts. McCormack Family Theater 5:30 P.M. AMBASSADOR NIRUPAMA RAO AND RICHARD LOCKE DISCUSS: “INDIA, CHINA, THE U.S. AND WORLD POLITICS”

Former Indian Ambassador to the United States Nirumpama Rao and Director of the Watson Institute Richard Locke discuss current events in three of global politics’ most influential nations. Watson Institute, Joukowsky Forum TOMORROW



The fair offers students the chance to explore campus opportunities or add more activities to their schedules. Over 120 student groups will be present to provide information and answer questions. Alumnae Hall Auditorium 8 P.M. “SCHWANENGESANG” A LIVE PERFORMANCE BY BARITONE WOLFGANG HOLZMAIR

Austrian baritone Wolfgang Holzmair and pianist Russel Ryan will perform Franz Shubert’s final work “Schwanengesang,” which contains 14 songs. Martinos Auditorium, Granoff Center for the Creative Arts

10 commentary



Maintaining religion’s role on campus Despite common beliefs that Brown’s campus is more or less apathetic toward religion or even that religious faith is at odds with intellectualism, campus life of late seems to suggest a different trend, for instance this week’s first annual Jewish Film Festival. Still, there is a feeling among the student population that there is some tension between religiously affiliated and non-affiliated students. As Zach Ingber ’15 claims in a recent Herald opinion column (“Shibboleth,” Jan. 27), “it is still taboo to be religious at Brown.” The causes of such notions are complex, but it is important to focus on the ways that we can rethink the role of religion on campus to create a safe and positive atmosphere to best accommodate religiously affiliated students, who constitute a majority of Brown’s student population. The Herald’s student poll last semester revealed that 62 percent of students consider themselves to be affiliated with a religion, compared to 38 percent who consider themselves atheist or agnostic. Since a majority of the community does indeed associate with a religion, religiously affiliated events at Brown should not be considered anti-intellectual or dogmatic, but rather a space for students of diverse backgrounds to explore different religious beliefs and cultures. We believe it is important that the University continue to hold events and discussions that promote religious curiosity and pluralism. This week, for example, Brown/RISD Hillel is hosting a Jewish Film Festival at the Perry and Marty Granoff Center for the Creative Arts and Wilson Hall. The festival will include three films as well as an academic arena to discuss those films in the wider context of Judaism and Jewish culture. This exploration of religion through the arts is one way in which Brown can continue to acknowledge religion and its place in the academic sphere. While religious spaces do exist on campus, including the Brown-RISD Catholic Community, Hillel and the Muslim Students Association, these organizations may often be considered more closed off to students who do not belong. Artistic events that incorporate religion such as the Jewish Film Festival may offer more inclusive settings where students feel welcome to join the discussion, regardless of their personal religious affiliation. Such events, which stress the arts, food and creative forums, provide good alternatives to more structured religious gatherings. Certainly these events offer a forum for those equally uninterested in addressing religion in a classroom setting. While the University’s Department of Religious Studies offers a plethora of introductory and advanced classes about religious history, theology and practice, many students might desire a less formal setting to discuss religion. The Jewish Film Festival is just one example of culturally religious events that are offered on campus, and it is important to make such events known to students. We strongly value a continuing dialogue on campus concerning religion and how it relates to other intellectual pursuits. Just as the Jewish Film Festival connects art and religion, the University offers events and lectures that explore the connection between religion and a variety of academic fields, including science, law and philosophy. We encourage Brown to remain a safe space for members of all religious affiliations and believe it is fundamental to the success of a pluralistic community. Editorials are written by The Herald’s editorial page board: its editors, Matt Brundage ’15 and Rachel Occhiogrosso ’14, and its members, Hannah Loewentheil ’14 and Thomas Nath ’16. Send comments to editorials@



On minimum wage, conservatism has failed To the Editor: In his column Friday (“Minimum wage is a maximum loss for Rhode Island,” Jan. 31), author Scott Lloyd concluded his argument by stating, “Our citizens benefit best when businesses thrive.” What the author failed to mention is that the most widely acknowledged indicator of business health, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, is showing that businesses are in fact thriving. Yesterday it closed at 15,372.80. To be fair and balanced, that amounts to 191 percent of the value under the last conservative executive, President Bush. What happened? President Obama abandoned the failed experimental economic policies of neo-conservatism. Milton Friedman’s deregulated utopia resulted in the greatest loss of market capital since the Great Depression. In its place arose the standard-bearer of the liberal economic ideal, John Maynard Keynes. Deficit spending once again salvaged a dire

“You can’t be a good leader if you don’t recognize the value in everyone you lead.” — Steve Zins GS

See GSC on page 3.


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q u o t e o f t h e d ay

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circumstance. As unemployment has dropped, the conservative voice has stunk of partisan politics and sour grapes. U.S. Department of Labor statistics show that GDP per capita has increased every year despite the specter of minimum wage increases touted by the Heritage Foundation. It is indeed correct to state that minimum wage earners’ purchasing power has eroded significantly in the last 45 years. Despite what corporate-financed conservative think tanks may want you to believe, the Labor Department facts prove that business will likely be unaffected by such a wage increase. Why isn’t the minimum wage tied to inflation? Good question. Perhaps it is time for some money to “trickle down” and fill the hole that has been made over the last 45 years.

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commentary 11


Pull-ups to break the brass ceiling? ROBYN SUNDLEE opinions columnist

Jan. 24 marked the first anniversary of women being allowed to fill combat positions within the military. Still, before they can be fully integrated, the Department of Defense must construct gender-neutral physical performance standards. In anticipation of the new standards, female recruits and their performance in training have been in the media spotlight more than ever, and reports have been surfacing of many female recruits having significant difficulty with pullups. An editorial in The Washington Times responded to the news by stating that Pentagon generals “ignore (physical) differences at the nation’s peril, and to the peril of the men and women they cheerfully put in harm’s way.” It’s true that women, in general, have less upper-body strength than men. It is one of the few definitive differences in our physiques. We’re all familiar with the scene at the Jonathan Nelson ’77 Fitness Center — women sweat on the ellipticals while men grunt and heave barbells. It’s a culture that we’re all exposed to as early as elementary school, when girls are presented with the option of doing the flexed arm hang

instead of pull-ups for their fitness tests. Women tend to avoid upper-body workouts because they’re hard, and bulging deltoids aren’t that sexy, right? But is the tendency for women to struggle with upperbody exercises indicative of inferior performance in infantry, artillery or ground-combat units? The answer is a resounding no, and dissenters should reassess before claiming the average woman’s difficulty with pull-ups negates all potential positions for women in

ences of other countries that have had women in their combat forces for decades. The more notable examples include Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, Norway, France, Germany and Israel. The process hasn’t been without challenges, and many women don’t meet the standards or choose to avoid combat. Still, the ones who do pass the rigorous testing have distinguished themselves. A study on the integration of female combatants in the Israeli Defense Forces found

The tendency for women to struggle with upper-body exercises is in no way indicative of inferior performance in infantry, artillery or ground-combat units. combat roles. To posit as such is to ignore the myriad of other factors involved in face-to-face military engagement. The argument that women aren’t physically capable of fighting effectively is a tired one that is a final bastion of discrimination within the armed forces. It’s unfortunate that it needs refutation once again. Firstly, women in combat forces is no new phenomenon. The United States will be basing its integration procedure on the experi-

that women often exhibit “superior skills” in discipline, motivation and shooting abilities. Opening up combat positions to a greater pool of recruits will allow the truly exceptional to rise to the occasion and flourish. The combat of several decades ago is not the combat of today, and brute strength is not necessarily essential for success. Today’s combative military engagements depend not so much on hand-to-hand fighting as on firepower — and weapon-

ization is a great equalizer. Some of America’s elite snipers are women. They are deadly and can hold their weapons just as well as men can. While still important in some arenas, physicality is less and less crucial in modern combat. In this new generation of warfare, all members of the military, designated combat units or not, find themselves facing combat situations. The enemy often chooses the time and place of the engagement and doesn’t care whether its foes are male or female. Whether we like it or not, female soldiers are fighting our wars and have been doing so for years — just without proper recognition and training. In a decade of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, over 280,000 women have been sent into combat zones. Want to tell them they aren’t strong enough to fight? Allowing women into combat roles isn’t just about being politically correct or fair. It’s about recruiting the best of the best to defend our country while paying no heed to gender. The ability to do pull-ups is in no way a reflection of leadership skills, tactical brilliance or resilience — all attributes essential to conducting modern warfare. There’s no denying that combat requires physical excellence, but arguing that something as trivial as a pull-up test discredits women’s value in combat roles is ridiculous.

In any case, the women who are to be put into combat positions will be among the elite. Basing arguments on the “average woman’s” physical abilities is irrelevant. Exemplary individuals will be the ones who emerge successful from training. As military leadership has repeatedly stated, the standards will not be lowered. The women who are to be deployed in combat units will be the ones who earn it, and who can carry their comrades out of danger if necessary. While addressing troops, Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Micheal Barrett declared that rescinding the combat exclusion policy “will not impair readiness, degrade combat effectiveness or cohesion. You are responsible for looking out for the Marine on your left and on your right, regardless of gender.” Unless we suddenly decide to go back to phalanx warfare and mandatory conscription, the option of combat designation regardless of gender is a positive change for everyone. Not only is female integration into combat roles just, but it is also advantageous and essential to maintaining an effective military — no matter how many pull-ups the average woman can do.

Robyn Sundlee ’16 sucks at pull-ups. She can be reached at

Empty promises JAY UPADHYAY opinions columnist

Last week, President Obama gave his State of the Union address, which outlined his goals for the remainder of his term and highlighted aspects of his presidency to date. While I agree that progress has been made on several fronts, be it curbing Iran’s nuclear program, working to provide a temporary resolution in Syria or passing a bipartisan budget bill in December, the president glossed over several issues and offered poor solutions to others. In particular, Obama’s policies to spur job growth, combat long-term unemployment and provide a plan for fiscal sustainability were vague at best. These issues are important not only for millions of Americans but also for the thousands of Brown students who graduate and enter the labor market each year. Obama announced an executive order that seeks to increase the minimum wage for federal contractors to $10.10 per hour. He also declared support for a broader increase in the minimum wage for all workers. Proponents of the wage hike claim that higher wages for workers will lead to increased spending and demand for goods and services. But this is nothing more than the broken window fallacy. Money spent by workers is no different than money spent by business owners, shareholders and stakeholders. Add this to the looming employer mandate, which levies penalties on companies with more than 50 employees that do not provide their workers with health insurance, leaving businesses with higher marginal factor costs of labor. The net effect will

be, and has been, less employment and fewer hours. The most recent Employment Situation Summary indicated an anemic 74,000 jobs had been added in December — over 100,000 short of expectations. Sure, the unemployment rate dropped to 6.7 percent, but the labor force participation rate also decreased to 62.8 percent — nearly 3 percentage points lower than when Obama took office. Furthermore, when adjusting for lookback periods, the majority of new jobs in 2013 were part-time positions. This is a clear case of economic theory matching with

these pledges? Hiring processes are generally opaque, and small businesses employ a substantial number of the nation’s workers. Moreover, is it really incumbent upon businesses to hire workers with decaying skills? I’d argue that instead of propagating misleading numbers about job growth to mask a weak economic recovery, it’s the government’s responsibility to provide an economic climate where workers aren’t unemployed for extended periods of time. Peeling away the administration’s rhetoric reveals a few possible avenues to address these pressing issues. Corporate tax-

Obama’s proposed policies to spur job growth, combat long-term unemployment and provide a path of fiscal sustainability were vague at best.

empirical evidence. All else equal, higher input costs lead to decreased quantity in the labor market. The effect is a job market in which full-time employment is hard to find, and college graduates continue to struggle. The Obama administration must also tackle long-term unemployment. As workers find themselves out of the labor force for extended periods of time, skills tend to diminish and wages upon reentry fall below expectations. To combat this, Obama has called on CEOs of major companies to pledge not to discriminate against the long-term unemployed. Many have indicated initial support. The issue is that this is not really a policy at all. How does Obama intend to enforce

es in the U.S. are nearly 14 percentage points higher than the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development average. Additionally, with the proliferation of S corporations, which are taxed at the individual level — not the corporate level — the importance of income taxes increases. Corporate tax rates should be brought down to international levels, giving businesses more liquidity in order to hire employees and put capital to work. Talk of increasing taxes on the “wealthy,” which actually includes many of these aforementioned companies, should be quashed. Our tax code should be simple and sensible at its core. For example, businesses that accrue revenues abroad should pay taxes at the rates of the

country in which the particular business operates. Huge amounts of money currently sit overseas because of government failure. In addressing the popular issues of deficit and debt, Obama pointed to the shrinking national deficit as a positive sign for the future. Again, this rationale is flawed. By historic levels, the deficit is by no means low. Because it’s a flow variable, a deficit continuously adds to our national debt. As a president who attempts to strike fear into Americans over sequestration, takes weeks to come to the table during a government shutdown and leads a party that demeans Republican budget proposals as cutting the safety net in favor of the wealthy, Obama hardly deserves credit for reduced spending. Over five years into his presidency, Obama is overdue to make serious fiscal reforms. To make the remainder of his term unlike the highly unremarkable first, he must place an emphasis on passing job creation legislation. For example, since the State Department’s most recent report indicated little environmental concern, the Keystone XL pipeline deserves serious consideration. The project would provide many temporary and some permanent jobs. Moreover, this administration must make serious fiscal and budgetary reforms to the tax code, entitlement spending and regulation as a whole. The Greenspan Commission on Social Security proved that the faster and earlier reforms are passed, the greater the net benefit and cost savings. Americans and Brown students alike deserve better.

Jay Upadhyay ’15 is an economics concentrator who wants President Obama to realize who has been in power during the past five years.






Women’s water polo The Bears opened the season this weekend with a 2-3 record in their home pool at the Brown Invitational. After getting off to a rocky start Saturday morning with a 17-6 loss to No. 16 Indiana University, Bruno bounced back by trouncing Siena University 14-7. No. 20 Pacific University got the best of Brown in Saturday’s nightcap with a narrow 12-10 decision. The squad split two Sunday matches, falling to Marist University 14-13 and edging Wagner University 12-9. The pedestrian 2-3 weekend was not without an upside, as the Bears proved competitive with some of the top teams in the country. Battling nationally ranked Pacific, the Bears fell just short of a stellar comeback led by Kate Woods ’14, who netted a staggering four goals in the final quarter of the contest. Bruno was dealt a heart-breaking defeat the next morning in a doubleovertime thriller against Marist. Elizabeth Bolten ’16 converted two goals in the first overtime, but they were not enough as Marist answered and fired in the deciding goal in the suddendeath second overtime.

Fencing The men’s and women’s fencing teams are no strangers to undefeated tournaments. For the fourth time in five weekends, the squads slashed competition on their way to perfect records — this time at the Eric Sollee Invitational. The dominance exceeded mere wins as both lineups beat their opponents by large margins. The women allowed only one of five competitors to reach double digits while the men’s 15-12 decision against New York University was a closely contested match. Simon Jones ’16 and Kathryn Hawrot ’14 were the top performers overall for the Bears, posting records of 13-2 and 11-1, respectively.


Tommy Glenn ’14 set a pool record in the 100-yard butterfly on his way to scoring one-fifth of Bruno’s total points against Cornell this weekend. He also won the 100-yard and 200-yard freestyle events.

Bears fail to part Big Red sea Men’s team comes within a second of topping Cornell in Ithaca, women set 400 free relay pool record By CORMAC CUMMISKEY SPORTS STAFF WRITER

The swimming and diving teams made the long trek to Ithaca, N.Y., over the weekend to take on Ivy rival Cornell in the frozen north. Despite putting forth a valiant effort, the men and women lost narrowly to the Big Red, falling by scores of 152-148 and 166134, respectively. Men’s captain Brian Barr ’15 said his squad was “a little disappointed” with the outcome. “We swam fast, but they were just ready to go. We were too late to the party.” Between the men’s and women’s teams, Brown claimed victories in only 13 of the 32 events. Still, the Bears amassed a number of second- and third-place finishes, which buoyed their scores. This depth-based approach transformed the meet into a more closely fought competition, particularly on the men’s side. Tommy Glenn ’14 was the top racer for the men’s team, scoring 29 points across four different events — roughly 20 percent of Brown’s total score. Glenn took home titles in the 100-yard freestyle, 200-yard freestyle and 100-yard butterfly. His 100-yard fly time set a new pool record. On the diving platform, Jonathon Schlafer ’17 may have only finished third in the 3-meter event, but his score qualified him for the NCAA Zone Diving competition.

“Zones is the next step before nationals,” Barr said. “It’s a big deal.” The Bears found further success in the 500-yard freestyle event. Cory Mayfield ’16, Kevin Mertz ’17 and Kai Wombacher ’16 finished 1-2-3 in that race, bolstering Bruno’s score by 16 points. This windfall, which came late in the meet, brought the Bears within striking distance of Cornell. Mayfield, Mertz and Wombacher were not the only underclassmen to shine at the meet. Thomas Mercurio ’16 did his part for the team by winning the 200-yard breaststroke — a performance that Barr described as “one of the best swims I’ve ever seen.” Racing against Cornell sophomore Victor Luo, one of the Big Red’s most distinguished athletes, Mercurio gritted out the win by 0.01 seconds. Mercurio’s electric performance kept the Bears within arm’s reach of the Big Red, who still clung to the lead in overall points. In the end, the outcome of the meet was decided by a single event: the 400-yard freestyle relay. Both Cornell and Brown entered three teams — designated “A,” “B” and “C” — in the event. In order to win the meet, the Bears needed both first and second place. Brown’s “B” relay delivered a firstplace finish, but the Bears’ “A” relay missed second place by a mere 0.36 seconds. This result left Bruno four points short of Cornell’s 152 total points at the close of the meet. The story on the women’s side was largely the same: Several strong individual performances could not quite close the scoring gap between Brown and Cornell. But this outcome was not unduly

disappointing for the team, said cocaptain Kate Dillione ’15. “We just wanted to race really well and get some confidence going into the end of the season, and I think we accomplished that,” she said. “We know we’re going to get (Cornell) at the end of the season, because we were not well rested but we were still really competitive with them.” Briana Borgolini ’14, one of the team’s most consistent contributors, blew her opponents out of the water in both the 100-yard and the 200-yard breaststroke, setting a pool record in the former event. Dillione was also a double event winner, claiming first place in the 200 free and the 400 free relay. The 400 free relay was an especially exciting spectacle, as the Bears laid waste to the field. Bruno’s foursome finished a full six seconds clear of Cornell’s second-place squad. Dillione, who swam the second leg for the Bears, recorded the fastest 100-yard split of any competitor in the race. The victory was made all the sweeter by the fact that the Bears’ time established a new pool record for the event. “We were just going out with a bang,” Dillione said. “We were pretty confident we could beat them, so it was fun to just blow them out and break their pool record.” Brown returns to the pool Saturday, hosting Yale in the Katherine Moran Coleman Aquatics Center. Barr said this meet against the Bulldogs could be “a toss-up.” “It’s the last meet for each of us,” he said. “We only care about Ivy Champs at this point in the season, so the Yale meet is kind of hard to predict.”

The women’s skiing team continued its undefeated season with wins in the slalom and giant slalom this weekend at the St. Anselm Carnival. The field was no match for the squad as Bears posted the top four individual times in slalom — with Amanda Engelhardt ’15 taking first place — as well as three of the top four times in giant slalom, paced by the event’s champion, Natalie Pearl ’17.


Bears perform well with incomplete team Men’s and women’s teams set theme of personal achievement during record-setting meet By EMILE BAUTISTA CONTRIBUTING WRITER

The men’s and women’s track and field teams posted strong finishes at the University of Rhode Island “Coaches” Coed Invitational in Kingston Saturday, despite fielding an incomplete squad as some athletes rested for next weekend’s meets. On the women’s side, captain Brienna Crimmins ’14 had an outstanding showing, winning the long jump with a distance of 5.54 meters. Uzoamaka Okoro ’16 and O’Sha Williams ’16 finished first and second in the triple jump, with distances of 11.4 and 11.31 meters, respectively. Kylie Fustini ’17 marshalled a victory in the shot put with an 11.08-meter throw. On the men’s side, Nkosi Jones ’17 leaped 6.83 meters to take second in the long jump. Personal achievement was a theme

of the meet, as many Bears set career records. Taylor Alarcon ’17 increased his personal record in the triple jump to a distance of 14.46 meters, finishing in third place. Three different men set new personal bests in the 3,000-meter run: Steven Bourguet ’17, Kyler Evitt ’14 and Tucker Hamilton ’17, all of whom tied for first with a time of 8 minutes, 30 seconds. Aaron Comery ’17 extended his personal best in the shot put to a distance of 15.08 meters. Assistant Coach Mitchell Baker commended the team’s performance. “To have personal bests as well as improving race management and technique are all good indicators for team progress with the start of the new semester and the Ivy League Championships four weeks away,” he said. Bruno hopes to keep up its string of quality performances next week when the team travels to the Boston University Valentine’s Invitational and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Gordon Kelly Invitational. These meets offer the Bears some final opportunities to compete before the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships March 1-2.

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Tuesday, February 4, 2014  
Tuesday, February 4, 2014  

The February 4, 2014 issue of The Brown Daily Herald